Solar Wind Power – Combining Two Technologies to Achieve Energy Independence
The power of the sun is responsible for producing solar energy and wind energy. Humans have been using solar and wind energy in some form since ancient times for illumination, warmth and power. It took modern man a long time to figure out how useful renewable energy is; it’s been quite a long and dirty road. Had we expanded the uses of renewable energy instead of fossil fuels, think about how the world would be different. Fortunately, we have that opportunity now.
First Things First
You might choose solar energy or wind energy as your preferred renewable energy, but you could use them in combination to maximize your energy production and minimize your investment. Before you choose any solar wind power, minimizing your energy consumption is your single biggest opportunity for savings. A professional home energy audit will reduce your energy usage. The recommendations could save you thousands of dollars and give you insights into your best options for renewable energy. Taking this step saves you twice, in the short term you will see decreased energy bills and as your purchase your solar wind power, you will need to purchase less. Definitely a step worth taking.
The Solar Solution
Solar energy could be your total energy solution if you store your excess in batteries. Now you will have energy to draw upon at night. However, you may not be ready to go for a total energy solution, but want to supply a portion of your energy. That is possible with solar panels and net metering. You will still be connected to the electrical grid, but in the event you produce more than you need, you will receive a credit or your electric company will buy your excess energy.
Solar is a good option if you live in a sunny location and your heating and air conditioning costs are moderate. In areas where heating and AC costs are a significant portion of your electric expense, solar may not be able to supply all your electrical needs because of limited roof space and cost. Combining renewable energy technologies to provide all your electrical needs may be a better solution.
The Wind Solution
Wind energy is now efficient at wind speeds of 7-10 mph. The Small Wind Industry has been working hard to develop solutions for homeowners and they have been successful in eliminating many of the problems that face the Large Wind Industry. When choosing wind as an option, the most important consideration is the wind speed over your house. There are no wind charts that can provide you with this information; you need to measure this to make sure your situation has all the right elements. Your particular wind situation depends on the trees and large structures surrounding your home and changing the wind patterns. This will cost a few hundred dollars and a few months of measuring. Knowing the wind speed will help you make a better choice and one that results in the most efficient wind turbine output.
Teaming Up Solar and Wind
Combining solar and wind to supply your electrical needs may be your best option if your electrical usage is higher than either technology alone can affordably provide. Certainly evaluate each option separately first and then your options as your combine technologies. Your best option is to find an energy consultant that has experience combining solar and wind.
You have decided renewable energy is your next step. Your home energy audit provided you with lots of opportunities to save energy and your changes have resulted in reduced energy usage and costs. Now, take your time to evaluate solar wind power. Combining these technologies may provide you with all the electricity you need at a lower cost than either technology alone.